Tag Archives: Amazon.com

I Don’t Own an E-Reader–Now What?


No sweat!

Amazon.com has solved the problem for you if you have a computer, Android phone or tablet, iPad, iPhone, Mac, Windows 8 PC or tablet, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone. Amazon.com offers free software–free reading apps–for your device that converts it to an e-reader. Cool!

Then you can read your favorite e-book just like everyone else!

For more information about converting your electronic device to an e-reader, click here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=sv_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771

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Anthology Sales Update


Without any serious marketing as such,  Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe (Hmmmm. Is that singular or plural?) has sold 35 copies of the anthology to date.

And there are two reviews written and posted on Amazon.com. Reading the reviews was exciting. It gave insight and feedback to us on our work.

The sales break down like this:

Amazon.com 34 copies sold

Barnes & Noble 1 copy sold

Several copies have been purchased by the dining patrons of the Desert Rose Cafe. Owner Rose Harris reported there is a lively interest in the book and how the group came to publish it.

Perhaps, in the near future, there will be a “Meet the Writers” event, which may garner a bit of newspaper coverage. That event, or a complimentary newspaper article, may yield a couple of more sales.

What can be done now to sell books?

I have to buckle down and prepare press releases. All of the writers group members need to promote the book on their own social media, blog or web site. This year, I postponed sending out my Christmas letter. I want to write a New Year’s letter and include a promotional blurb in it about the book. Next, I need to put on my thinking cap to figure out other ways to exploit the “local writer” designation.

In sales, they teach you to sell first to family, then to friends or acquaintances, then to neighbors or the local market, then beyond. Until a writer has established himself, the likeliest buyer is someone who knows him or knows of him.

Finally, I need to utilize the “store” component here on WordPress. Obviously, visitors to this site should be able to buy the book.

The lesson in all of this?

Sales don’t magically happen for an author. To sell books, an author has to promote his or her books. That means getting creative so that whatever selling the writer does is effective and affordable.

Writers hate marketing. However, it is a necessary evil, especially for the new author.

Don’t overlook the sales that can be generated by friends or family. Word of mouth is always the best sales tool. A person who reads and likes your book is the most credible advertiser. Ask for help to promote your book.

I would love to hear from other independent authors about the success you’ve had selling your books. Please share the lessons you’ve learned, the mistakes you’ve made or the tactics that have succeeded. In what venue did you sell the majority of your books? Where did things fizzle? What was hard? What worked well?

Talk to me.  I am all ears.

Uploading the Book to Amazon.com


I got a phone call today from Acorn Book Service that the Anthology has been uploaded to Amazon.com. I don’t think the book is immediately available for sale. Rather, the internal processes inside Amazon.com get set into motion by uploading the manuscript.

Similarly, the book will be uploaded to Barnes & Noble by next week.

Smashwords, I’m told, is much more user friendly, so I will work with one of the other members to upload the manuscript to Smashwords ourselves. That will be a learning experience. Smashwords is a distributor to other e-book retail outlets.

Amazon.com uses a .mobi file format. Barnes & Noble and Smashwords use .epub files. That is one of the services Acorn Book Services provides to the Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe, taking our .doc file and converting it to e-publishing-ready formats.

Next comes the marketing learning curve.

I will share with you how things progress. I’ll share what I learn and the mistakes I make.  We’ll learn together about this thing called self-publishing via the e-book.

The Anthology Is Going to Press


Within the week, the Writers of the Desert Rose Cafe Anthology will be in the hands of Acorn Book Services for formatting. Within the month, the e-book will be available for sale on Amazon.com.

The anthology integrates the varied writing interests of the authors into a fast and easy read.  There’s something for everyone: young adult to inspirational to fantasy to adult fiction to poetry to ultra-short story (such as 33- or 55-word stories). Whatever your tastes in reading, the anthology offers enough variety to satisfy.

Sound like an advertisement? It is.

Naturally, I hope you will read the anthology and share feedback with me. Your feedback helps the writers of Desert Rose Cafe to improve and grow. Criticism is welcomed when it is meant to help.

The project itself drove several of the authors out of a comfort zone. Writing within a group setting is very different from writing alone. For a couple of the writers, the process of publication is a first experience. Others have years of creative expertise. One of our own developed the book cover with group input. Members assumed varying responsibilities such as editing, content organization, setting timelines and the like. The satisfaction of bringing the projection to completion is almost at hand.

As an aside, one of our authors has Asperger’s Syndrome, a developmental disability that affects one’s ability to socialize and communicate effectively with others. Can you imagine the huge satisfaction that writer is feeling right now?

Now the marketing begins, along with the next learning curve for some of us. When the e-book is available to purchase, I’ll share where to buy it.

As I learn what works and what doesn’t on the marketing side of the venture, I’ll share those lessons, too.

Later, ‘gator.

Quality Control for Authors @ Amazon.com


When an author forays into selling e-books, he or she finds Amazon.com offers a unique service to its stable of booksellers.

Amazon encourages readers to report errors, misspellings and the like. Then the company compiles the complaints and e-mails the information to the author. The writer has the option to let the e-published material stand as is or fix the manuscript, uploading the revision and removing the source of complaint.

Voila! Errors disappear for future readers.

A Word on Commissions


Tina L. Hook, author of Enchanted by Starlight, offers insight into the “paycheck” side of writing. This message was excerpted from WriteonEdge.com:

So how do traditional authors get paid anyway?”

[Author Amanda] Hocking was making 70% commission on her [self-published] books priced at $2.99 and over, and 30% on her books priced at 99 cents. It was hard to understand how books with such low price points could be competitive with the traditional publishing houses charging $12 and $15 a pop. Uncovering the real numbers, however, was shocking. First time non-established authors (meaning you are not a celebrity or don’t have a built-in audience) are generally offered a commission of 10% or less. That means the $10 paperback you bought on sale at the bookstore could have potentially netted 60 cents to a dollar to the debut author. Surely mass distribution to mega-stores from a traditional house means more books get sold, and that dollar commission hits the register many times over. Still, 10% versus 30%, or even 10% verses 70%, puts the upside potential of self-publishing into perspective. Add to that the cost of marketing and travel that many authors are paying out of their own pockets, and it is easy to see why self-publishing is becoming more attractive.

Six Tips for Selling on Amazon.com


Here’s a great video from a guy who is selling books on Amazon.com himself AND helping other authors to do the same. He sells both e-books and paper books. He uses print-on-demand to print his tree books.

His video is titled “5 Tips . . .” , but he gives a bonus tip at the end that is very practical and may be the best marketing tip you’ll receive today. Hence, hang in there for the sixth tip!

5 Tips to Selling on Amazon